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Kovalev and Agnew Talk Ahead of Saturday Scrap in AC

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Kovalev-Agnew Press Conference Quotes and Photos

Atlantic City, NJ: Today amidst all the press about a potential fight with Adonis Stevenson, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) faced the media and his opponent Cedric “L.O.W.” Agnew (26-0-0, 13 KOs) at Caesars to discuss the fight in front of them Saturday night at the Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall and live on HBO Boxing After Dark.

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Agnew & Kovalev

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Main Events' CEO Kathy Duva started things off reminiscing about her experiences at Boardwalk Hall with the late great Arturo Gatti, “We are very pleased to be back here in Atlantic City, NJ. The last time we were at Boardwalk Hall was seven years ago when Arturo Gatti last fought at Boardwalk Hall against Alfonso Gomez. If these walls could talk… Now we have a fight worthy of the house that Gatti built. Ken Condon is the reason that boxing is in Atlantic City and it is wonderful to be here.”

Ken Condon, entertainment and sports consultant to Caesars AC said, “It is a pleasure to have Kathy and Main Events back in Atlantic City. It brings back a lot of great memories. She continues her commitment to Atlantic City boxing and so does Caesars. We are looking forward to a great weekend in Atlantic City. We are looking forward to welcoming Sergey and Cedric to Atlantic City. We have very few tickets left so I wouldn't wait until Saturday to try to get them because they will probably be sold out by then. We look forward to creating a great relationship with Sergey Kovalev and HBO going forward.”

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Krusher Kovalev

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Duva also addressed questions about why Kovalev is fighting on HBO. She said, “Sergey Kovalev is fighting on HBO because it is the network of champions. HBO is the network that built each and every legendary fighter in the last 30 years. In the United States during the last 30 years no superstar has been built on any other network. Sergey's plan is to become a legend. That is why he is fighting on HBO.”

Peter Nelson, director of programming, HBO Sports said, “We are very excited to have this event on HBO. We are always pleased to be back in Atlantic City. Boardwalk Hall is the home of many storied fights and Saturday we plan add another fight to that collection. These are the types of fighters HBO loves. It isn't easy to find people who will step up and fight Sergey. This is Sergey's debut on the network in a main event. We believe there is going to be a lot of action which will lead to big things down the road.”

Kathy Duva said it is usually difficult to find opponents for Sergey but it was not difficult with Cedric Agnew. She said, “On Saturday, Sergey will fight an undefeated fighter who asked for this fight. Clearly he has a lot of courage. I have always respected a fighter with that attitude.”

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Cedric Agnew

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Cedric's promoter Malcolm Garrett of Garrett Promotions said, “We are ecstatic to be here. This is a fight this kid wanted. This is a fight he plans to win. We are glad that everyone in the media, and hopefully Kovalev, have overlooked him. I know Cedric can't wait for the fight to begin. Cedric has trained hard and is the hardest working fighter I have ever worked with.”

Cedric “L.O.W.” Agnew said, “Everyone who knows me knows I am very quiet. I would like to thank HBO for this opportunity and my team for helping me prepare for this fight. I am ready to go out there and show the world what I am capable of. And show the naysayers what I am capable of. There are always going to be naysayers out there and people who overlook me. I say nothing to them and I will keep doing what I am doing. Saturday I need to fight smart and always be the smartest fighter in the ring. Sergey is a pretty good fighter. He is a tough guy. He is a world champion. He earned that spot. Come Saturday night I will earn mine.”

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Duva, Kovalev & Klimas

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Kovalev's manager Egis Klimas reminisced about the path he took with Sergey to get here, “Sergey and I have been down a very long road and it wasn't easy. When Sergey came from Russia he didn't speak a word of English. Our relationship is more than just manager-fighter. He is like my son. I took him all over the country to get him any fight we could. At that time nobody wanted him. Then I brought him to Main Events and they took the opportunity. Since then we have had a good relationship with Main Events. They did a very good job to get us here. This is our first main event on HBO. I wanted to thank Cedric's team for taking this opportunity. I wanted to thank Sergey who trusted in me for all those years when I told him to be patient and that one day we would get here. Finally we are here with Main Events on HBO in Atlantic City. Saturday night do not reach for the popcorn or go for a beer during this fight because you can miss it.”

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Agnew & Kovalev

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Krusher's trainer, John David Jackson, kept Sergey focused these last few months while he trained for this fight. He said, “I want to thank everyone at Main Events, they are a first class company. It is great to be back here at Caesars. I appreciate all that they are doing for us. This is an intriguing fight. I take my hat off to Cedric for taking the fight because a lot of fighters talk a big game but when it comes down to it they don't want to fight Sergey. We are not overlooking him at all. He is the present and we are not looking over him. We have to get passed him to get to the next phase in Sergey's career. Sergey has great boxing skills but we won't know if he will ever get to use them. Sergey is one of the hardest working guys I have ever worked with. It is a great night of boxing. Expect a great evening of boxing all around.”

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev said, “I am not a talker but I just want to say stay tuned and don't miss HBO Saturday night. I will try to make a good fight. Thank you to Cedric Agnew for agreeing to fight with me. Thank you to Kathy Duva and HBO. I don't have any predictions for this fight. He is an undefeated guy and so am I. He has big motivation. He is on HBO and it is a title fight. I am going to do my job. Short fights are the result of my job and my work in the gym. I am only boxing. I go into the ring to show good boxing. I want to show the people what they want to see in the ring from me.”

When asked about the Adonis Stevenson situation, Sergey laughed and said, “I never go into the ring thinking about someone else. I want to say good luck to Adonis is in his career but someday he will meet my punch. We will talk about it after the fight.”

Finally, Duva discussed the undercard fights, “The undercard is loaded with tremendous fights if you can make it to Boardwalk Hall. We are going to have a group of fighters whose combined records are: 91-11 (64 KOs) vs. 76-5 (42 KOs). I would also like to thank our sponsors Caesars AC, Do AC and Khortitsia Vodka.”

About March 29:

March 29 features the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title showdown between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (23-0-1, 21KOs) and Cedric Agnew (26-0-0, 13 KOs) from the Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic, City, NJ. The telecast will begin live on HBO Boxing After Dark at 10:00 PM ET/PT with the Thomas Dulorme vs. Karim Mayfield co-feature. The event is presented by Main Events in association with Caesars Atlantic City. Tickets are on sale now through TicketMaster online at www.ticketmaster.com or via phone (800) 736-1420. Fans can also contact Main Events for tickets at (973) 200-7050. Ticket prices are $26, $51, $77 and $152.  Doors will open at 6:30 PM ET. Undercard bouts will be announced shortly.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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